Photos By Mike Capps, Town Crier correspondent
Purchase prints and more at cu.towncrieronline.comThe Poland freshmen girls basketball team ended their season last week by winning the local AAC Tournament against a tough Struthers team. It brought an end to a tremendous season that gave the girls an 11-0 record.
“They all fought hard this season and it came down to the final tournament game,” said head coach Alex Rokicki. “Struthers had 12 girls, but it didn’t matter because I had six very good girls.”
Rokicki said most area teams field only six to eight freshmen girls. Struthers is one of the larger teams, which gives them the advantage of fresher players. The Wildcats gave the Poland girls a run for their money, but the Bulldog girls pulled it out to end the final tournament game at 32-30.
Some of the girls will continue working out and conditioning as they prepare for varsity and JV next season. Rokicki said it goes with the territory at that level of play that a coach only has the girls for one year. She did have the advantage of a second year as she had the same girls in the middle school team last year. Rokicki moved up to the freshmen level with those girls and although it was her first year as freshman coach, it was her second year with the six girls.
When asked what it is like to have a team for just one year, she replied, “It’s tough, but it is fun to start over. I like getting the girls ready and teaching them the fundamentals of the game.”
At the freshman level, they learn the basics. When they reach JV and varsity, the focus is more on game strategy, according to Rokicki.
The girls won’t totally miss Rokicki this coming season though. She said she will be helping out with the varsity team during practice.
Posing in their tournament championship shirts are Poland freshmen girls Liz Suess, Marissa Trevis, Kasie Serich, Meredith Tesone, Rachael Robertson and Meredith Testa.